Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ask Kelli: Likeability, Re-giftability; Fluency

by Kelli Miller

Dear Kelli,

I don’t know if I’m crazy or not but it seems that everyone ignores me. I walk into a room, they walk out. I talk, they interrupt, or end the conversation. Is it possible people don’t like me?

Ignored and Hurt

Dear Ignored and Hurt,

Is it possible some people don’t like you? Yes. Not everyone likes everyone. But is it also possible you might be too close to the situation to look at it objectively?

It’s hard to help you without knowing more details. So let me give you some questions to ponder: Are these people you feel ignored by in one particular place (such as work)? Are you talking to people when it’s a difficult time (such as during deadlines, in the bathroom, etc.)?

I’d like you to look deeper at this issue. Because it might not be about everyone else. It might be about you—and what you are imagining. If that’s the case, you need to start thinking more positively about yourself. Let me ask you: If you really were okay with you, would you be as concerned if someone didn’t like you? No, because you’d know you’re great, right? So again, if the issue is about you and how you value yourself, I’d concentrate on improving your self-esteem. You can start with some affirmations (“I’m great the way I am”), writing a list of what you like about yourself, and/or volunteering. Or you can read some of my past blogs for more tips.

All the best,


Dear Kelli

Thoughts on re-gifting?

‘Tis the Season to Re-gift?

Dear ‘Tis the Season to Re-gift?

I’m actually okay with re-gifting. Now before you start pulling out sweaters from 1970, let me clarify. If the gift is in good condition and relatively recent, I think it’s fine. If you think that person would appreciate it more than you would, go for it. You know the saying: One person’s junk is another’s treasure. Just be careful not to re-gift an old friend’s gift back to the same friend.

All the best,


Dear Kelli,

I love my babysitter but her English is horrendous. She’s from another country and I’m just not sure she’s understanding me or is getting what I need from her. Here’s the kicker, though: She’s great with my son. He hasn’t connected with anyone else like that since he met her. Do I hire someone else to ease my anxiety about her understanding what I need? Or do I keep her because she’s great with my son?

Language of Confusion

Dear Language of Confusion,

I totally hear you on both fronts. On the one hand, you want to feel secure that she’s understanding what you need from you or your son. On the other hand, she’s great with your son and that’s not always easy to find.

I have a few thoughts. If you don’t know her native language, find it out. What if you translate the more important things (i.e. “Here are the emergency numbers,” “Feed my son at this time,” etc.) in her language? You can find a free translator company online. You can also print your needs for that day from the free translator. (Now this is assuming it’s a widely spoken language. For an uncommon language you may have to pay for a translation system online or find someone to help you.)

Repeat what you say in a different way: “Dinner is at 5 pm. 5 pm is dinner.” The babysitter may understand one version better than the other.

Additionally, ask her to repeat back to you. “Anna, what time was dinner?” to see if she understands.

Start interviewing other people and see how your son reacts to them. You may find he attaches himself just as easily to someone else. And you can have both: a babysitter who you're sure understands you well and connects well with your son.

I’m not sure how long you’ve had your sitter but I’d give it a few weeks and see how you feel. If you feel that the situation isn't improving with the suggestions I’ve made and you’re still feeling uncomfortable, I’d try and find someone else.

Good luck,


Kelli Miller, MSW is a therapist, author, and radio personality. Miller was a featured expert for SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 198, the co-host for the TV show Love and Money: The Advice Show, and the advice columnist for Playboy U, and the author of Professor Kelli’s Guide to Finding a Husband. Ask Kelli is published on All Life is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv on Wednesdays.

Kelli welcomes your comments below.  Have a question? You can write to Kelli at advice (at) fastmail (dot) net, via the Ask Kelli Facebook group,,or on Twitter @askkelli..Your name and email address will be kept confidential

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kelli,

    With respect, re question 3, I've learned to be careful about relying on free online translation. Sometimes it works well, but I've seen some nonsensical sentences come from online translation between two widely used and studied languages.

    Best regards,


    Quebec Street